Not all marriages work out, and divorce is the solution for many couples. But we believe that not all divorces need become unnecessarily complicated, or contentious, or difficult. Especially here in California, the law provides a relatively simple process called a summary dissolution.
Unfortunately, not all divorcing couples qualify for a summary dissolution. There are several specific requirements that must be met before the papers are filed. Married couples, including same-sex married couples, and registered domestic partners may all petition the court for a summary dissolution. As with regular divorces, the appropriate papers must be filed with the court. However, unlike in a divorce, going before a judge is not necessary with a summary dissolution.
To qualify, the following conditions must be satisfied:
- Both spouses have resided in California for six months, and have lived for three months in the county where you plan to file
- You have been married for less than five years
- You have no children together (born or adopted) either before or during the marriage and are not currently expecting a child
- Your community obligations–those debts acquired together during marriage–do not total more than $6,000
- Your community property totals $40,000 or less
- Each spouse’s separate property totals $40,000 or less
- Besides your primary residence, you own no real estate, and neither you nor your spouse are leasing or in the process of purchasing other property
- Both spouses stipulate there will be no spousal support now or in future
- Both spouses must sign a property agreement detailing the division of marital assets, property and debts, if any
Generally speaking, a summary dissolution is granted by the court six months after the date the petition and other necessary paperwork is filed.
Though applying for a summary judgment may seem as simple as filling out the proper paperwork, paying the fee and handing it all over to the court clerk, it’s still an excellent idea to consult an experienced family law attorney, to assure that your efforts are successful. As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about summary dissolution or any other aspect of California divorce law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are! Just contact us in Tustin at 714-598-3714.